Title:
System of easily interchangeable handles for oars
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a system of easily interchangeable handles for oars used in the sport of crew.



Inventors:
Remus, Paul C. (Bedford, NH, US)
Irwin, Dana (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Irwin, Mike (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/387665
Publication Date:
11/12/2009
Filing Date:
05/06/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63H16/04
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Primary Examiner:
WIEST, ANTHONY D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEVINE, MILLIMET & BRANCH, P.A. (MANCHESTER, NH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system of easily interchangeable handles for oars comprising: an oar with a blade end and a handle end having a tapered slot-shaped cavity; a handle with an oar end having a tapered center extension for insertion in the slot-shaped cavity in the handle end of the oar; and means to hold the oar handle center extension in place when it is so inserted such that the handle can be removed and replaced quickly without tools.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the means to hold the oar handle center extension in place comprises: a thread portion along the circumference of the handle end of the oar; and a collar threaded on the inside rotatably attached to the oar handle that is rotated to engage the threaded portion of the handle end of the oar.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/126,674 filed May 6, 2008, which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of oars used in the sport of crew. More specifically, it relates to a system of easily interchangeable handles for oars.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Oars used in the sport of crew are either “sculling” oars 10, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, with a handle 11 with a place 12 for one hand of an oarsman (either male or female), or “sweep” oars 20, as shown in FIG. 3, with a handle 21 with places 22, for both hands of an oarsman.

Traditionally, oars and handles were one piece of wood or other material. More recently, oars and handles have been two separate pieces so that the length of the handle 22 protruding from the end of the oar 20, as shown in FIG. 3, can be adjusted. However, the adjustment requires tools and is time consuming.

The traditional approach to the construction of oars has led to a problem, as is described at length herein, if different oarsmen want to use a given oar but want different handles, or if a given oarsman wants different handles on an oar for different conditions.

It is often not feasible to have an oar used only by one oarsman. The costs of the oars make it uneconomical for a crew team to have an oar for each oarsman. Moreover, there are times, such as in “seat racing,” where it is desirable to change oarsman at given locations in a boat but it is not feasible to change oars such that each oarsman retains use of the oar with which he started.

There are at least two additional problems with more than one oarsman using a given oar. First, different oarsmen may prefer different handles, based on the diameter, shape or covering material of the handle or on other criteria. Second, different oarsmen using one oar may cause serious health problems. An occupational hazard of being an oarsman is blisters on one's hands. These blisters may often be numerous and serious. An oarsman is, therefore, subject to infection from viruses, such as HIV, or antibiotic resistant bacteria, such as MRSA contained in blood left on an oar handle by another oarsman who had previously used the oar handle.

In addition, an oarsman, even if he always uses the same oar, may prefer different handles for different conditions. For example, an oarsman may prefer different handles for different weather conditions, such as rain or cold, or different handles for different conditions of his hands, such as more or less severe blisters.

The present invention is a system of easily interchangeable oar handles, oar handles that can be removed and replaced quickly without tools.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a system of easily interchangeable handles for oars used in the sport of crew.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be better understood by reading the following detailed description, taken together with the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exterior view of a sculling oar;

FIG. 2 is an exterior view of a sculling oar as shown in FIG. 1 with a right hand on the oar handle;

FIG. 3 is an exterior view of a sweep oar;

FIG. 4A is a cross-sectional view of the handle end of an oar of a preferred embodiment;

FIG. 4B is an end-on view of the handle end of an oar of a preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5A is a top view of an oar handle of a preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5B is a side view of an oar handle of a preferred embodiment;

FIG. 6A is a cross-sectional view of the handle end of an oar of another preferred embodiment;

FIG. 6B is an end-on view of the handle of an oar of another preferred embodiment;

FIG. 7A is a top view of an oar handle of another preferred embodiment; and

FIG. 7B is a side view of an oar handle of another preferred embodiment;

PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The present invention is a system of one or more easily interchangeable oar handles. As shown, in FIGS. 4A (a cross-sectional view) and 4B (an end-on view), a preferred embodiment of the present invention includes an oar 30, with blade end and a circular handle end 31. The handle end 31 includes a tapered slot-shaped cavity 32 and openings 33, preferably circular, at opposite ends of a diameter of the circular handle end 31.

The preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 5A (a top view) and 5B (a side view) also includes a handle 40, with an oar end 41. Extending from the oar end 41 is a center extension 42 that tapers from the end of center extension 43 attached to the oar handle 41 to the other end of the center extension 44. Also extending from the oar end 41 are two side extensions 45 that also taper from the ends of the side extensions 46 attached to the oar end 41 to the other ends of the side extensions 48. The side extensions 45 also have protrusions 49 extending radially near the other ends of the side extensions 48. The tapered center extension 42 and tapered side extensions 45 are inserted into the tapered slot-shaped cavity 32 of the oar. The side extensions 45 are deformed toward the center extension 42 when first inserted into the slot-shaped cavity 32. When the side extensions 45 are completely inserted, the protrusions 49 enter the openings 33 in the oar and are held in place when the side extensions 45 are no longer deformed. The handle 41 can be removed from the oar 30 by depressing both protrusions 49 that are extending through the openings 33 in the oar 30.

Another preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 6A (a cross-sectional view) and 6B (an end-on view), includes an oar 50, with a circular handle end 51. The handle end 51 includes a tapered slot-shaped cavity 52 and a rotatably attached collar 53 threaded on the inside.

It also includes as shown in FIGS. 7A (a top view) and 7B (a side view), a handle 60 with an oar end 61. Extending from the oar end 61 is an extension 62 that tapers from the end of the extension 63 attached to the handle 60 to the other end of the extension 64. The handle 60 also includes a threaded portion 65 along the circumference of the oar end 61. The tapered extension 62 is inserted into the tapered slot-shaped cavity 52 of the oar. The collar 53 on the oar is then turned to engage the threaded portion 65 of the handle 60. The handle 60 can be removed from the oar 50 by turning the collar 53 in the opposite direction to disengage the threaded portion 65 of the handle 60. The collar 53 and the threaded portion 65 may, of course, be interchanged so that the collar 53 is on the handle 60 and the threaded portion 65 is on the oar 50.

It should be noted that the center extension 44 and the side extension 45 shown in FIG. 5A and the extension 62 shown in FIG. 7A may be configured differently so long as they are radially asymmetric about the center of the circular handle ends 31 and 51 of the oar 30 and 50, respectively. The radial asymmetry is to prevent the handles 40 and 60 from turning in the handle ends 31 and 51 of the oars 30 and 50, respectively, when an oarsman turns a handle to “feather” an oar. The protrusions 49 extending in the openings 33, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, and the collar 53 on the oar and the threaded portion 65 of the handle, as shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, are specific embodiments of more general means for securing the handle to the oar, including means for securing known to those skilled in the art.

It should also be noted that the mechanisms in the prior art described above and shown in FIG. 3 for adjusting the length of the handle 22 protruding from the end of the oar 20, which require tools and are time consuming, may be preserved in oars using the system of the present invention.

Additionally, it should be noted that the system of the present invention can be included when oars and handles are first manufactured or produced as a kit to be added to existing oars and handles that do not include it.

While the principles of the invention have been described herein, it is to be understood by those skilled in the art that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation as to the scope of the invention. Other embodiments are contemplated within the scope of the present invention in addition to the exemplary embodiments shown and described herein. Modifications and substitutions by one of ordinary skill in the art are considered to be within the scope of the present invention.





 
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